The US and its NATO allies are set to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by late August after over 19 years of occupation. The pace of the retreat has led to a dramatic escalation of fighting between the Afghan government and the Taliban, with the Islamist militia claiming they now possess over 85 percent of the country’s territory.
David Petraeus, the retired US Army general who once commanded NATO forces in Afghanistan and US forces in the Middle East, has reiterated that Washington will live to regret its decision to end its nearly two-decade-long occupation of the war-torn country.
“I think we will also look back and regret the hasty way in which we seem to be doing this,” the retired general added. “What I see now sadly is the onset of what is going to be quite a brutal civil war, considerable ethnic and sectarian displacement, assassination of government officials, millions of refugees flooding into other countries, particularly Pakistan. We will see the return of al-Qaeda and Islamic State, though I don’t seen an immediate domestic security threat for the US in that regard…We will see the reestablishment of the kind of mediaeval ultraconservative Islamist regime that was the Taliban that did rule much of country when al-Qeada did plan the 9/11 attacks on Afghan soil,” he predicted.
Characterizing the situation on the ground as “increasingly dire,” Petraeus pointed out that the Taliban is now fighting the Afghan…